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breakreep
homophobic yet curious


Joined: 27 Sep 2004
Posts: 6627
Location: Fifth Jerusalem
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Confidential wrote:
Have you considered that religion is an integral part of culture


Absolutely not. There have been utterly stunningly beautiful cultural epochs wherein organized religion had little or no significant, large-scale influence. Think of the Hellenistic Greeks, Republican Rome, the Arab world before Islam, China before Buddhism and Confucianism.

Besides, if the cultural trappings of a religion mean that much to you, why not keep them as a tradition? There probably aren't any adults who believe in Santa Clause but we tradition the fuck out of that guy, and the result can be--can be--charming.

No. Religion is not an integral part of culture, unless you mean it's an integral part of several cultures as they exist now. Take away the supernatural motivations and you have a bunch of very pretty art and architecture left, and there's no reason you can't have those without the supernatural motivations.


Quote:

It sounds to me like the old humanism "kill the Indian, save the man."


Difference being that I'm not advocating actually killing people. I don't even advocate killing religion, though I think it would be cool as fuck.

I do, however, advocate letting people know how much I completely disrespect their stupid ideas when they insert those ideas into a public discussion. That goes for denying the existence of evolution, thinking that quantum physics heals abusive memories, insisting that the twin towers were an inside job, and telling me how much Jesus loves me.

I think one of the key problems here is that you're treating that last idea as though it's somehow more special than the other ones. It's not.


Quote:

I think there is some religious zeal behind your insistence of science as the superior way of knowledge,


It's not religious zeal, it's impatience with the touchy-feely needs of people to have their ideas respected when they haven't put any thought into them at all. Well, sometimes. Other times it's just because I'm swept away by the sheer usefulness or predictive power of science. I mean, I know where an electron is even though I can't see it! Einstein knew where the atoms were even though he couldn't see them! It's flabbergasting!

But either way, it's just emotion. And emotion is like culture. You can have both just fine without religion.


Quote:

and the way you argue for an absolute truth is common to religious fundamentalism.


If I've ever argued this on here I was saying something I didn't realize I was saying. No, there's no absolute truth. But insofar as there is a usable extent of truth, science is the best way we've found to find it.


Quote:

I get that there are observable laws of nature, and that systemic observation has lead to improvements. I get that "God" can not be proven and is therefore not a valid truth. Just not ok with where you seem to be taking it.


While I'm not okay with the special hat and pretend smiles that everybody gives to religion because they have a gut feeling or a vague historical notion that it's necessary for human well-being, goodness, or beauty! It's not!
Post Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:51 am
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Raoul DeGroot



Joined: 30 Apr 2009
Posts: 2437
Location: Son Quest
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breakreep wrote:

Absolutely not. There have been utterly stunningly beautiful cultural epochs wherein organized religion had little or no significant, large-scale influence. Think of the Hellenistic Greeks, Republican Rome, the Arab world before Islam, China before Buddhism and Confucianism.



Do you mean like no influence for the tiny fraction of people that make up the educated elite of that beautiful cultural epoch?
Or is the key word organized? Because religion in those periods was a super hodge podge, but still the popular choice.

I think a lot of the notes religion hits fill some integral and perpetual human needs. It may not itself be integral, but it's the response that takes the least cultural infrastructure to maintain.
Aetheism/humanism is a high impact belief system. It takes constant work to make our brains accept and like it.
Post Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:52 am
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Confidential



Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Posts: 2040
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breakreep wrote:


Besides, if the cultural trappings of a religion mean that much to you, why not keep them as a tradition? There probably aren't any adults who believe in Santa Clause but we tradition the fuck out of that guy, and the result can be--can be--charming.

No. Religion is not an integral part of culture, unless you mean it's an integral part of several cultures as they exist now. Take away the supernatural motivations and you have a bunch of very pretty art and architecture left, and there's no reason you can't have those without the supernatural motivations.


Quote:

It sounds to me like the old humanism "kill the Indian, save the man."


Difference being that I'm not advocating actually killing people. I don't even advocate killing religion, though I think it would be cool as fuck.




Yes, I was talking about culture in the present, as well as in the past how killing actually wasn't a necessary part of colonization once re-education and assimilation were introduced. Personally, I don't think science and religion need to be far apart - (sacred geometry or ritualized astronomy.) I would point out that there is a strong culture -human produced practices, rituals, etc. - within the scientific community. And yes religion is based on unfounded belief - that is why it is called faith. And yes, evangelicals have some ridiculous beliefs. You came off a tad intolerant (yes I know there's an argument to be made against tolerating bullshit) and I have a hard time when people claim (western) science to be the supreme way of knowledge.
Post Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:27 pm
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breakreep
homophobic yet curious


Joined: 27 Sep 2004
Posts: 6627
Location: Fifth Jerusalem
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Raoul DeGroot wrote:
Do you mean like no influence for the tiny fraction of people that make up the educated elite of that beautiful cultural epoch?
Or is the key word organized? Because religion in those periods was a super hodge podge, but still the popular choice.


The key word actually was organized, but further, if we're talking about the lasting cultural effects inspired by a given religion, we are talking about value systems of persons and the physical nature of artifacts. If there is no large-scale religious belief system then there is no large-scale cultural social system based on the large-scale belief system that isn't there.

Further, even if it tickles you to point out that a given beautiful cultural impact is the result of an educated elite, if that elite is areligous, then it doesn't matter what portion of the hodgepodge their workers subscribed to because their individual beliefs didn't dictate the nature of whatever artifacts they were contracted or enslaved to produce. The whole point is that regardless of what individual citizens believed in a scattered, non-systematic way during certain periods, those beliefs were not the mover of the cultural artifacts which have survived to be admired.


Quote:

I think a lot of the notes religion hits fill some integral and perpetual human needs. It may not itself be integral, but it's the response that takes the least cultural infrastructure to maintain.
Aetheism/humanism is a high impact belief system. It takes constant work to make our brains accept and like it.


I have no argument against any of this. I do, however, have an argument against using it as an argument against the dismantling of religion. Laziness is never a good enough excuse not to do something better. Didn't everyone's grandpa teach them that?
Post Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:40 pm
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